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    • There's such a long history of hating those we deem outsiders or foreigners that we can find xenophobia in all cultures throughout recorded history. As climate change accelerates we can expect the number of climate refugees to likewise accelerate. Sometimes they will be fleeing directly weather-related events like drought or hurricane-caused destruction but most often we should expect that they will be fleeing the violence and chaos that climate-related disasters make more likely. When climate refugees meet boarders, if history and especially current events are any indicator, they may face genocide. What can we do to make this less likely?

      Short background reading from the American Psychological Association: https://www.apa.org/advocacy/immigration/prejudice-facts.pdf

      Image: From this 9 September 2015 article: http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/9/the-climate-wars-are-coming--and-more-refugees-with-them.html

    • Welcome to Cake, John. ๐Ÿ™‚ I've always wondered why so few political posts have appeared on Cake and what would happen when they do, so this will be fascinating to watch. It's an incredibly polarized issue and has been many times in history, no?

      Btw, we have a non-intuitive link expansion UI the first time you use it, but once you do it the first time, it's wonderful and intuitive forever. After you insert a link, you have to hit the Enter key and your link should expand after a second or two:

      We do it that way so you get a link preview and so you can place multiple expansions in a post. I hope that helps!

    • When climate refugees meet boarders, if history and especially current events are any indicator, they may face genocide. What can we do to make this less likely?

      I think we need to spend much more time than we currently do teaching children to empathize.

      Empathy should be a subject taught in schools from day one to graduation day. It may be the single most important skill any human can have, but we basically never talk about it except in the form of oblique Sunday school-style maxims like "treat people how you would want them to treat you."

      I have a family with a broad range of political beliefs. Some of them are vehemently anti-immigrant, even though I know them to be kind and loving people who have literally invited strangers in need into their home. I think there's a particular form of empathy at a distance that some people have trouble with. They can empathize with people they see in front of them, or that they have a personal connection to, but they have trouble empathizing with people who are far away and who they've never seen.

      This is why I think empathy is like a muscle that needs to be exercised. The stronger your ability to empathize, the more likely you are to be able to imagine the struggles an immigrant or a refugee is going through, and how you would feel in their shoes, and the more likely you are to want to help them even if you don't know them and have never met them.

    • Empathy is important and I think it's also complicated - as you point out. What differentiates the Other from the Us is that we are deserving of our empathy while the Other is not. So I wonder if one of the missing pieces is that we are not doing a good job of teaching that everyone is an Us?

    You've been invited!